Celeb chef Anne Burrell's show Chef Wanted on the Food Network debuted its second season last night. If you didn't catch it, no worries: The episode you don't want to miss is on Sunday, February 17 at 8 p.m. That's when Coohills' chef Austin Henry (pictured, middle, with Diane and Tom Coohill) will appear on the show. Chef Wanted's premise is this: Each week, Burrell puts four chefs through the paces (an extended, multifaceted interview, if you will) as they compete for the job opening of executive chef. No word on how Henry, Coohills’ 29-year-old, chef poissonnier (fish chef) fared—he was mum when I saw him cooking on the line earlier this week.
It's been an exciting few years for Colorado chefs: Hosea Rosenberg (who ended up winning) and Melissa Harrison (Centro Latin Kitchen) appeared on Top Chef Season Five. Kelly Liken (Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail) made it to the final four on Top Chef Season Seven. (Liken also appeared last night on the Cooking Channel's Hook, Line, & Dinner.) And, of course, Tyler Wiard (Elway's), Jorel Pierce (Euclid Hall), and Eliza Gavin (221 South Oak in Telluride) all competed on the current season of Top Chef. Whew. Now, don't tell me the country isn't taking notice of our fine culinary scene.
Bonus: Even Bloomberg.com referenced the growing restaurant scene when it named Denver the sixth best American city. (Although, the clichéd references to game, the Buckhorn Exchange, and the Rocky Mountain oysters make me want to roll my eyes.)